Saturday, October 10 (9.30–14.00)
The Robopioneer is a creative program by Mali ustvarjalci, and is intended for children aged 6 to 11. This kind of informal education offers the children a chance to confront and get to know construction-related and logical problems, as well as programming, by playing with, assembling and disassembling Lego blocks. In this way the child sees and follows the functioning of things, learning why certain elements spin and why others swing, and why sometimes some of them don’t work the way they are supposed to. There isn’t a child in the world that can’t assemble Lego blocks or can’t learn to do it in a very short period of time. The ideas already reside in the children; they are of crucial importance, which is why the child’s innovativeness and independence are stimulated during the process of assembling and programming. The simplicity and appeal of this workshop lie in teaching the children about programming in such a way that they are not even aware of it, because the program commands are executed manually, all the while making logical conclusions and establishing links between actions and reactions, between cause and consequence. Every child goes through the entire process of robotization, i. e. from the idea and the problem of construction, to programming and a final functioning product.
Key words and subject links: ROBOTICS, MATHEMATICS, LOGIC, PHYSICS, PROGRAMMING, NATURAL SCIENCES, TECHNICAL SCIENCES, ART, CREATIVE THINKING
The creative workshop mentor is Jure Pikl, a professor of physics and technical education at the Primož Trubar Elementary School in Laško. Apart from his formal employment, he is also actively engaged in informal education, working as a part-time children’s teacher/instructor of robotics who believes, as he puts it, in bringing the technical world as close to children as possible in a fun and relaxed way. He also emphasizes that technical education in schools is becoming less and less interesting for children, who “fail to resolve problems in the sense of assembling and disassembling constructions, logical reasoning, step-by-step problem solving etc.”